Greeks hurl Molotov cocktails as Floyd death unites world

Masked protesters throw Molotov cocktails at police during a stand-off outside the US embassy in Athens yesterday. (AP pic)

ATHENS: Protesters threw Molotov cocktails at Greek riot police who responded with tear gas at a rally in Athens on Wednesday against racism and police violence galvanised by roiling demonstrations across the US.

The police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, has not only sparked once-in-a-generation protests in the US, but also solidarity demonstrations around the world, including Stockholm and Helsinki on Wednesday.

In Athens, three thousand people turned out to condemn “racism”, “the murderous American state”, and “imperialism”, according to a banner leading the march.

A group of young protesters threw Molotov cocktails at riot police near the US embassy in the Greek capital, an AFP photographer said.

The police then used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Some of the group of protesters also set fire to rubbish bins.

In other protests on Wednesday, around 3,000 people marched in Finland’s capital Helsinki, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and holding signs reading “I can’t breathe”.

“Even here in Finland, there is racism everywhere, in bars, nightclubs, shopping centres, everywhere,” protester Omar, who is originally from Gambia and has lived in Finland for 16 years, told AFP.

Several thousand protesters also gathered in Stockholm, many wearing face masks, however the police gradually broke up the rally due to a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in Sweden due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck before he died on May 25 will be charged with second-degree murder, court documents revealed Wednesday, while his three colleagues will also face charges.